At&T's Way Around The Ncr Busy Signal

AT&T is closing in on NCR, the Dayton-based computer maker that's the target of AT&T's $6.1 billion tender offer. The phone giant announced on Jan. 16 that it had received tenders for about 70% of NCR's shares and extended the tender deadline by a month, to Feb. 15.

The solid majority is mainly symbolic, though, since for the moment, NCR's antitakeover defenses make an acquisition prohibitively expensive. But shareholders could dismantle those defenses in a special session, and AT&T says it now has enough votes to demand such a meeting. If AT&T can muster the support of 80% of NCR's shares, it can vote out NCR's current directors and replace them with its own slate. They would then rescind the antitakeover defenses and consummate the deal.